Goodbye 2013 & Looking Forward

Hello all and Happy New Year! I know, I am late but it’s still January right?

Goodbye 2013 | Cloth Habit

This was actually a double rainbow but the rest disappeared in camera!

This year Derek and I whisked away to a very special Christmas with some friends in Portugal. We’re fond of spending the holidays in Europe but this was our first time visiting this beautiful country. The Algarve is reminiscent of our fair Texas climate, with a bit more rain and streets lined with orange groves in season. And the Atlantic smashing against cliffs.

We spent most of the holidays indoors storytelling, catching up on summer blockbuster movies and eating. Boy did I eat. Our friends and their children are marvelous cooks. Clams and mussels (the size of those mussels–gorgeous) drowned in broth… homemade pizza… lots of dairy… pork with plums on Christmas day, with a little bit of Port to finish of course. Yum!

Since coming home, I got ambushed by a nasty strain of flu so it has taken me forever to catch up with myself. But I love doing year-end reviews, so here we go…

Looking Back

The year started off with a bang when I hosted the Bra-making Sew Along. This was a huge challenge for me, both in time and in organization, but Im so glad I pushed myself to try something like it, and it is still the most-visited section of my site. I really love teaching and I want to improve my skills in this area–helping others become better at sewing and fitting.

Most of my year after that was completely lingerie obsessed. I drafted at least ten different lingerie patterns, taught myself several patternmaking approaches, proper grading techniques, and thought way more about the physics of elastic than I care to admit. These were some of my favorite personal projects:

Goodbye 2013 | Cloth Habit

Over the summer I also explored starting a business making custom lingerie. It’s still a work in progress, but I’ve been able to fit and design bras for a few friends. Here’s a sneak peak at one of them, my own nursing bra design:

Nursing Bra | Cloth Habit

This and many of my bras were hand-dyed in some way, and my experiments in dyeing lingerie fabrics opened up a new world of creativity with dyes and color mixing. During a few trips to Dharma Trading in San Rafael this year I loaded up on enough dye supplies to warrant a need for a separate dyeing studio!

Dyeing in 2013 | Cloth Habit

My top five of everything else:

Favorites of 2013 | Cloth Habit

1. My most-worn item was my Cascade skirt. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect hot Texas weather piece.
2. My 2nd most worn were both pairs of my Maritime shorts. I probably should’ve made 5 pairs.
3. I ended the year a little obsessed with pants which gave me the confidence to conquer the Clover pattern. Look out guys, I’m going on pants-making foray this year.
4. I drafted and made my first pair of jeans! After years of swearing them off…
5. My first project of last year, a wool and cashmere red cape, was definitely my most labor-intensive project, and even now a year later I wish I would’ve gotten more detailed shots. I spent hours handstitching and testing out every bound buttonhole method known to dressmakers. It’s so pretty that I wish I had more opportunities to wear it!

Looking Forward

My continuing goals for this year include going deeper into the study of patternmaking and the fundamentals of fit. I still like working with home patterns but these days tend to buy them more for style ideas than for their techniques. Sewing techniques in themselves don’t challenge me enough anymore, but drafting really tickles my brain! That will probably mean that I’ll be sharing more in-process posts since my projects will go a bit more slowly. I love to share what I’m learning about patterns and fitting.

On the blogging front, I don’t have any major plans other than Stay True to Thyself. I have to admit that by the end of the year I started to suffer a bit from internet burnout. My internet/blog-reading habits were overtaking my ability to keep in touch with my closest friends, and that’s never a good thing. This year I”m going to work at keeping a healthy balance with my online life…

I hope you all had a fantastic New Year, and that 2014 brings more sewing pleasure and beautiful fabrics!


  1. Kim says:

    We blog reading friends consider ourselves your friends too!! We understand the time and dedication to put together such a great blog is enormous – we love it and you and hope you continue to share throughout the year!!

  2. Amy says:

    Ohhh! That nursing bra looks quite lovely! Funny that I’d beeline right to it, but I guess that’s where my head is these days. I’ve enjoyed reading and watching your sewing over the year, and I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings. I’m all for more in-progress posts!

    • Amy says:

      Thanks, Amy. So many of my friends were nursing this year so my brain started spinning around these type of bras. There are so few interesting choices out there and I know they need to feel practical–and well, stretch in and out!–so I had a lot of fun really sorting through the design and practical elements.

  3. Anne says:

    I love the nursing bra! It’s exactly the style I’ve been looking for, apart from the nursing access. Can’t wait for the pattern!

  4. Ginger says:

    What a fantastic year you’ve had! I love looking at all your lingerie posts– everything is so gorgeous! I’m completely impressed! I found your dyeing to be really inspirational, too. Hopefully I’ll be able to at least dip a toe into that this year! Happy 2014!

  5. Maddie says:

    Amy, you continue to inspire me with your bra making. You have talent and I hope that 2014 brings fruition to your own lingerie business.

    (glad you got over your flu!)

  6. Maddie says:

    Amy, you continue to inspire me with your bramaking abilities. You have such talent. I hope 2014 brings fruition to your lingerie business.

    (glad you got over your cold).

  7. Gina says:

    Amy, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I learned from your bra making tutorials. I look forward to your posts. Good luck with the business!

  8. Jeanne Riggs says:

    I followed your bramaking lessons which were very helpful. I was impressed. Would you share where you are getting your fabric, laces and bra supplies? I would love to know how to dye the brafabrics and components. I look forward to your blogs to increase my own knowledge. Thank you!

    • Amy says:

      Hi Jeanne, over the last year I have been trying to include where I buy my materials in each post, so it’s sprinkled all over the place ;). Perhaps at some point I will consolidate all this into one page as a resource for readers. As for dyeing, I wrote a post about how I’ve been dyeing elastic and notions. If there is something you’d like me to clarify, let me know! I’m happy to write more about the process.

  9. Sallie says:

    You’ve had an amazing year! And it sounds like it ended with quite the scenic getaway (your description has me daydreaming – even though I’m getting my fair share of salt sea air over here in Galveston, and have seen more than a few orange trees practically tipping over with ripe fruit… it’s no Portugal!! Duh!) I’m so impressed by your nursing bra, you’ve managed to capture the engineering of such a garment, and still make it beautiful! I bet there are mama’s everywhere just dy(e)ing for such a gorgeous piece. And I also feel you on the “Stay True to Thyself” motto – I have gotten caught up in this far too many times. All of a sudden I feel like my head is spinning with everyone else’s makes and styles and words and I can’t remember what it is that I really want to do/make/say. Stepping away from the computer is always a good thing now and then!

  10. Angela says:

    Your bra making skills are amazing! You should start a lingerie business!!
    I hear you about keeping the internets in check. Can’t wait to see what you make in 2014!

  11. Carolyn says:

    You’ve had an absolutely brilliant year! and all your creations have been so pretty and inspiring. You’ve really encouraged me to stretch myself in my lingerie making; thank you so much for that! And I really hope you release a line of patterns for lingerie 🙂

  12. Mariana says:

    Hello Amy, your bras are amazing! You are so talented 🙂 I discovered your blog two days ago and I was wondering if the pattern from the lovely nursing bra is available to buy. I would love to have it!
    I’ll be waiting your answer.

  13. AngelaDawn says:

    I scoured Pinterest for the perfect nursing bra to sew, saw yours, then worked my way through every page of your blog to find it! I’m so disappointed that it’s not an available pattern. I hope you consider offering it at some point. 🙂 In the meantime I’ll have to try drafting my own from your design!

    • Amy says:

      Hi Angela, I’m so sorry to disappoint! If I were selling this it definitely wouldn’t be hidden. 🙂

      It’s not a sellable pattern since it was custom drafted for a specific person but the style idea is something I would definitely consider for the future!

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